Release Date: Oct 2, 2015
Record label: Caroline
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Pop/Rock, College Rock
Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook reunited in 2007, but for the first few years the revived Squeeze were nothing more than a touring act, ducking into the studio to re-record their hits in 2010 (the perfectly fine Spot the Difference) but taking their time to write a new batch of songs. That long-awaited reunion record, entitled Cradle to the Grave, finally appeared in the autumn of 2015, eight years after the reunion started and 17 years after Squeeze's last album, Domino. Remarkably, especially given its mortality-obsessed title, Cradle to the Grave doesn't play like a revival, nor does it seem concerned with modern fashion.
Squeeze split (for a second time) after 1998’s Domino: an underwhelming record that co-frontman Glenn Tilbrook later admitted, in Jim Drury’s Squeeze: Song By Song, was “not really a dignified exit” for the much-loved South London band. Neither Tilbrook nor his co-songsmith Chris Difford envisaged Squeeze would reform for a third term, yet, after a successful 2007 reunion and 2010’s Spot The Difference (a collection of reworked older songs), they’ve finally fashioned an all-new studio LP, From The Cradle To The Grave. Most of the tracks are scheduled to feature in the forthcoming Danny Baker/Jeff Pope-penned BBC sitcom of the same name (which has been adapted from Baker’s autobiography, Going To Sea In A Sieve), but From The Cradle… also reveals itself to be an accomplished comeback in its own right – not to mention Squeeze’s most essential set since 1993’s Some Fantastic Place.
Danny Baker makes little apology for the lack of authentic grit and misery in Going To Sea In A Sieve, his memoir of growing up in 1970s Bermondsey: “What was our life like in the noisy, dangerous and polluted industrial pock mark [in] one of the capital’s toughest neighbourhoods?” asks the ever-affable broadcaster. “Utterly magnificent, and I’d give anything to climb inside it again. ” Now that the book is being brought to vivid brown-and-orange life in the BBC series Cradle To Grave, who better to provide original songs for the soundtrack than Baker’s old schoolmate Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook? Since their most recent reunion in 2007, Squeeze have released Spot The Difference – a 2010 album of classic songs re-recorded – and an EP of new songs, but Cradle To The Grave is the first full album of (mostly) new material to emerge in 17 years.
Never mind that Squeeze has become the branding for any effort involving the band’s two principals, Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook, or that the rest of the group consists mainly of hired hands. And forget the fact that since their original demise in the ‘80s — and their second dissolution in the late ‘90s — they’ve reconvened repeatedly, making for more sad goodbyes and torrid returns than practically any other band in pop history. Difford and Tilbrook’s rocky relationship makes them modern music’s equivalent of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton when it comes to break-ups and make-ups, all part of a perpetual musical matrimony that not only seems to bring them satisfaction, but their rabid fans as well.